BEIJING: Usain Bolt’s third sprint gold and Mo Farah’s unique “triple double” shared the spotlight with Ashton Eaton as the American thrilled the world championships with a record-breaking decathlon win.
This time Bolt shot down not only Justin Gatlin but the cavalry too, anchoring rampant Jamaica to a fourth successive 4x100m world relay title as the USA sprinters imploded in Beijing.
Meanwhile, Farah became the first man to win back-to-back world distance doubles and Eaton broke his own decathlon world record on a pulsating penultimate evening at the Bird’s Nest stadium.
Any faint hopes the Americans had of ambushing Bolt’s latest treble attempt went up in smoke when Tyson Gay’s final handover to Mike Rodgers was deemed illegal and they were dramatically disqualified to give hosts China a sensational silver.
But even the anticipation of more Bolt fireworks took a back seat as iron man Eaton retained his world title in style after wringing every last drop of energy from his shattered body.
“It’s an awesome result,” said a jubilant Eaton. “How many more points can I get? I don’t know, but you can bet your ass I’m going to try to get more!”
Not to be outdone, Jamaica’s women retained their world crown in the 4x100m, with Britain’s Farah winning the 5,000m to make it three distance doubles in a row, including the London Olympics.
Bolt put on a typically electric display at the Bird’s Nest, where he shot to fame at the 2008 Olympics, leaving Rodgers for dead on the last leg as Jamaica won in 37.36 seconds.
After completing yet another individual sprint double in the 100 and 200m earlier this week, Bolt roared home after teammates Nesta Carter, Asafa Powell and Nickel Ashmeade safely negotiated the first three legs.
The USA weren’t so lucky and they were disqualified after Tyson Gay’s bungled handover to Rodgers strayed outside the baton-passing area, promoting a disbelieving China to second.
“I saw the mess at 300m and was glad we were not in it,” said Bolt after claiming an astonishing 11th world title. “It’s called pressure. They won the world relays (earlier this year) and the pressure was on them. I told you I would come back here and win.”
Anchored by the six-times Olympic champion, the Jamaicans have now won all world and Olympic sprint titles since 2008.